15 Feb Vitamin D and why we need it
Vitamin D is important for strong bones, muscles and overall health. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is necessary for the production of vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of vitamin D.
UV radiation from the sun is also the main cause of skin cancer, so please cover up and take the proper precautions when out in the elements.
The body can only absorb a limited amount of vitamin D at a time, however, daily exercise also assists with the body’s production of vitamin D.
Here are some health effects of low vitamin D:-
Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment, there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain, and softening of the bones, such as rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults).
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, they include:-
- people with naturally very dark skin –this is because the pigment (melanin) in dark skin doesn’t absorb as much UV radiation
- people who avoid the sun due to previous skin cancers, immune suppression or sensitive skin and those people who have limited sun exposure, such as nightshift workers
- people who wear covering clothing or concealing clothing
- people who spend a long time indoors, such as those who are housebound or institutionalised
- people who are obese
- people who have a disability or a disease that affects vitamin D metabolism, such as end stage liver disease, renal disease and fat malabsorption syndromes such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- people who take medication that affects vitamin D metabolism
- breast-fed babies of vitamin D deficient mothers (formula milk is fortified with vitamin D)
Foods that provide vitamin D include:-
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
- Beef liver.
- Egg yolks.
Vitamin D and safe sun exposure
UV levels vary depending on the time of year, and the amount of sun exposure you need varies accordingly.
The ‘daily sun protection times’ indicate when the UV level is forecast to be three or above. During these times, people are recommended to use a combination of sun protection measures (sunscreen, hat, protective clothing, sunglasses and shade).
Needing helping supplementing your daily Vit D? Here at The Chief Life, we can individually design a meal guide for you which will include everything you need to help boost your levels, get in contact today to live your healthiest life.